RIP LaVoy Finicum
The standoff in Oregon took a dramatic – and violent – turn for the worse in Harney County, Oregon earlier this afternoon. Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, an Arizona rancher close to the Bundys who has also served as a spokesman for the protesters and their occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, was killed following a confrontation with the FBI and Oregon State Police. The Oregonian reports:
Oregon standoff spokesman Robert “LaVoy” Finicum was killed and other leaders of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation were arrested Tuesday after the FBI and state police stopped vehicles about 20 miles north of Burns.
Authorities did not release the name of the person who died at the highway stop, but Finicum’s daughter confirmed it was Finicum, 55, of Cane Beds, Arizona, one of the cowboy-hat wearing faces of the takeover.
“My dad was such a good good man, through and through,” said Arianna Finicum Brown, 26, one of Finicum’s 11 children. “He would never ever want to hurt somebody, but he does believe in defending freedom and he knew the risks involved.”
Ryan Bundy, 43, of Bunkerville, Nev., suffered a minor gunshot wound in the confrontation about 4:30 p.m. along U.S. 395. He was treated and released from a local hospital and was in FBI custody, authorities said.
Also arrested during the stop were his brother, Ammon Bundy, 40, of Emmett, Idaho, Ryan W. Payne, 32, of Anaconda, Mont., Brian Cavalier, 44, of Bunkerville, Nevada, and Shawna J. Cox, 59, of Kanab, Utah. They were charged with conspiracy to impede federal officers, a felony.
Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore said that Ammon Bundy called his wife, Lisa Bundy, from the back of a police car on Tuesday night.
Fiore, a vocal supporter of the Bundy family, said that Ammon Bundy told his wife that Finicum was cooperating with police when he was shot.
The FBI and Oregon State Police released few details of what happened in the shooting and Fiore’s account couldn’t be independently corroborated. […]
As we await more information and details about Finicum’s death, let us keep the Finicum family in our thoughts and prayers. Indeed, let us pray for all of the individuals in federal custody, and their families.
Tensions have been rising in southeastern Oregon for days now, as county and state officials, including Oregon governor Kate Brown, have insisted federal authorities make moves to end the protest and occupation taking place at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. And that is exactly what happened today.
I got the chance to speak with LaVoy Finicum when I went to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Prior to meeting him, I had been extremely impressed with his demeanor and presentation during the various press conferences he had participated in. It was an honor to meet and speak with such a heroic and courageous American patriot. RIP Mr. Finicum.